Watchdog orders Sky to sell ITV shares

The Competition Commission has ruled that BSkyB should sell more than half of its 17.9% stake in ITV because it reduces competition in the pay-TV market and is anti-competitive.

It is expected that the broadcaster will lose more than £200m by selling a 10.4% stake at today’s share price of 84.2p. It has also asked Secretary of State for Business John Hutton (pictured) to obtain undertakings from Sky that it will not seek representation on the ITV board.

Sky controversially bought the stake in ITV last November in a bid to prevent rivals from buying the free-to-air broadcaster.

Hutton has until January 29 to announce his final decision on the report. He is required to accept the Commission’s findings on competition issues but can make changes on other issues.

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